HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE “THE PERFECT STORM”? In the final scenes, a small fishing vessel is caught out in the ocean in the midst of colliding storms. They weather the storm and the massive waves for a while and then for a moment they see blue skies and hope, but suddenly dark clouds roll in and all hope is lost. I thought, “Wow! That is life.” You are caught in the powerful waves of life and just as you roll with one and come up for air, another comes to knock you down and still another. Then comes blue skies and hope is on the horizon, but it’s only a teaser. Darkness creeps in and you feel like you are NEVER getting out of this storm. Ever felt like this? I have. HOWEVER, there is HOPE! IF you are anchored on the ROCK OF SALVATION. During the “perfect storm” you NEED to TRUST that God will navigate you through the rough and unstable waters. “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalms 62:5-8 If I could give you one piece of advice during this season it’s this: TRUST GOD. Trust His plan. Don’t trust what you see, TRUST HIM. Things are coming to shake your faith TRUST GOD. TRUST HIS WORD. RELY ON HIM ONLY. The black skies are going to deceive you if you do not TRUST GOD! The just shall live by FAITH, not sight.
ARE YOU IN A TIME OF SPIRITUAL ” BARRENNESS “? Have you prayed and prayed but still haven’t birthed your miracle? Hannah’s barrenness is ascribed DIRECTLY to the activity of God. “But to Hannah her husband would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.” I Samuel 1:5 God had withheld children from her in order to prepare her for the birth of her son Samuel, who would become a great prophet and the final judge of Israel. Hannah’s experience of BARRENNESS, FRUSTRATION, SHAME and WAITING was a TRIAL of her FAITH. But the desperate intercession it produced PREPARED the way for her MIRACLE to come forth and for God’s prophetic plan to be birthed. IN THIS SAME WAY, at times God may cause YOU to experience disappointment, SPIRITUAL BARRENNESS and brokenness so that you would cry out in desperation to Him for His holy intervention. Are you experiencing barrenness?? God has a GREATER PLAN! Your pain will be used for His glory when you take your unbearable situation and pain DIRECTLY to Him and WAIT upon Him, not taking matters into your own hands. Hannah went up to the temple “year after year”, it doesn’t record how long she continued to pour out her heart and pain to the Lord. DO NOT LOSE HEART dear friend! GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR PAIN TO PRODUCE GLORY!
“MY GOOD OPINION ONCE LOST IS LOST FOREVER” this is of course Mr. Darcy for all you Pride and Prejudice fans. I’m a little like this, mainly because I have trust issues. So when someone hurts me or does wrong, I recoil and hide myself, not trusting, separating myself. This is a big struggle for me and God is still working in me in this area. Now, my husband on the other hand, believes in people all the time even if he doesn’t completely trust them or have a high opinion of them. He is the biggest encourager I know, always believing that no matter what anyone has done or how they’ve acted; they can change. In fact, he almost NEVER lets someone quit or give in or go back. He SPURS them to change. He is a good example to me of what Biblical love is: “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].” 1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP We are supposed to always believe the best of people, no matter what’s our opinion. Always believe that they can change their ways. Always hope for a good future and never give up on them. SPUR THEM ON TO GOOD THINGS. I know this is hard. I’m not telling you that when someone shows you their true colors that you need to go repainting them; but you can continue to hope and pray and believe that they will change! Do not limit God’s ability to change the leopard’s spots. I am a living testimony of the power of God to change a life. Pray and BELIEVE for that person today that GOD’S BEST is yet to come and HE will change them!
THE OPTIC NERVE TRANSMITS ALL THE INFORMATION FROM THE RETINA to the brain. Therefore if the optic nerve is damaged, you will be blind. Where the optic nerve leaves the retina, we all have a “blind spot”, this area is where we literally cannot see; we are blind. Just as in the eye, we have blind spots in our lives. Some people have blind spots and constantly make bad decisions in life and others have blind spots in relationships. People have blind spots in who they really are and others have blind spots when it comes to sin. This idea that we are not allowed to say anything to anyone is such a lie from the enemy. I’m not sure how you feel, but if someone was coming up behind me to smash my head with a baseball bat, I surely hope you would speak up and not just stand there while I got pummeled. Paul tells us, “Do not only look upon your own interests, but every man must also look out for the interests of others.” I get it, people will tell you that you are “judging them” or that you need to “mind your own business”. These are just excuses. Your first allegiance is to obey God, not man; please God not man. James says, “My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God], Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” James 5:19-20 This sounds a lot to me like we are to be up in people’s business. Guess what? YOU ARE YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER and you have a responsibility to God to help your brothers and sisters with those blind spots and as far as it concerns you, to not let them get pummeled.
FAITH SAYS TO ME LAST NIGHT, “WHY IS IT THAT I ENCOURAGE OTHERS and congratulate them when they do well, but no one does the same for me?” Well my daughter, it’s because at the heart of people is selfishness and it doesn’t get any better as you get older. Think about it. One of the first words a child learns is “MINE”. Oh, we may think we out grow it, but we don’t. We are mostly concerned with our owns wants and needs and can’t see beyond that to encourage or praise someone else. We have blinders on, it’s in our nature; which is why the Word of God tells us we have to battle that stinky flesh on a daily basis and put it to death. Sadly, Selfishness is prevalent in the church and will tear it down. People view the church as an institution that is supposed to “serve me”. “The church needs to give to me, I want this, they need to do that, that pastor better speak to me, I’m here to be served and just receive. If you don’t I’m gone.” Sound familiar. This then translates over to our relationship with God. “God serve me. God answer my prayers and give me my hearts desire. You exist to serve me. If you don’t, I’m done.” This kind of thinking is damning. James says “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James 3:16 Guess what? YOU are your brother’s keeper and the church is the Body of Christ, meant to be loved and cherished. We are to serve each other, in fact preferring others over even yourself. Don’t let selfishness rule in your body- pluck out that evil root today. Let righteousness dwell and you shall overcome!
IS THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT PRESENT IN YOUR LIFE? Scripture clearly teaches that Christ wants His followers to EXPECT miraculous deeds as they announce the gospel of the Kingdom of God. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18 We don’t follow these signs, but these signs should follow the disciple of Christ. These signs occurred in the early church and are intended to CONTINUE UNTIL JESUS RETURNS. Christ’s followers are not only to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and bring salvation to those who believe, but we are also to demonstrate the POWER of the Kingdom, just as Jesus did by driving out demonic forces and healing the sick. Remember Jesus said, “Greater things will you do”. Where’s the GREATER things? The world has hijacked the gospel and the vision of the church. We are not a social club. Jesus did NOT come to give equality and set right the injustices of the world. He came to set us FREE from all the works of the devil, and we are to continue His mission. We are to push back the darkness with HIS LIGHT and LIBERATE the captives of the devil! Come on Saint! Die to self. Be alive in Him. Give that power away!
I HAVE NEVER SAID, “DON’T JUDGE ME.” Mostly because I don’t care; but I have always been more concerned with what God thinks of me, then what others think. I had someone tell me a long time ago, “Crystal you’ve changed.” But it wasn’t because they really knew me, what my past was or what God had brought me out of; rather it was because they wanted my clothing to change and I happened to start to look the way they wanted me to look. Someone told me I was in rebellion for wearing lip gloss and I thought, “Lady, I have more things that I’m concerned with than what you think of me.” Nobody really knows your personal struggles. Nobody really knows what you go through on a daily basis. But God knows and He cares. He’s the ONLY ONE you need to care about pleasing. “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I should not be servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 When you get your eyes off pleasing Jesus, you begin to look around you at what others are doing and saying and you will compare yourself to them; AND comparison brings depression and bitterness. God doesn’t want you to be anyone but YOU. He created you to be unique and different. He broke the mold when He made you. Can you learn from others? YES! But find a brother or sister that will lead you back to the WORD of God. Have compassion for your accusers, they might be just as lost. SEEK to please Him! Find out what His Word says and FOLLOW it. Be led by the Holy Spirit and don’t worry about what others think.
5 YEARS AGO I WENT TO MY 20 YEAR CLASS REUNION. There were only about 4 people who recognized me. One guy was so shocked his response was, “That was YOU! You should be voted most changed!” Well in 20 years, I hope we’ve all changed somewhat. For me, I was a Lita Ford wanna be. I’ll let your mind wander on that. I had big hair, lots of makeup, spandex and a fake smile covering my deep wounds. I still like my big TX hair and makeup, traded in my spandex for spanx, but the smile is now genuine. I am at peace with God and peace with my past. PEACE! The Hebrew word for peace is SHALOM and its basic meaning is the presence of harmony, wholeness, soundness, well-being and success in ALL areas of life. It refers to one’s personal sense of wholeness, free from anxiety and fear, at peace with one’s soul and with God. PEACE! Through JESUS you, too, can have perfect PEACE in every and ALL areas of your life. We are told in Psalm 34:14 “Depart from evil, and do good; SEEK PEACE, and PURSUE IT.” Did you get that? SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. This means PURSUE the things of God. Merely knowing Jesus is the Prince of Peace does not ensure that you will have peace, you must be united with Him in an active faith. Along with faith, you must walk in obedience in order to live in PEACE. You must be led by the HOLY SPIRIT who produces the fruit of PEACE. To live in PEACE, you MUST keep your mind STAYED ON HIM and renewed according to God’s Word. Do you need peace? SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT and you will SOAR above the storm!
I THINK MOST PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND GOD because they don’t really know who He is. People pick and choose parts of Jesus and make Him into some Frankenstein- Jesus hippie rebellious son. Jesus is GOD. As God, He has many characteristics and is multifaceted. He is GOOD. ALL THE TIME! Everything He does is good and stems from His goodness. He is LOVE. His love is a selfless love that embraces the entire world of sinful humankind. He is MERCIFUL and GRACIOUS. He does not cut off and destroy us as our sins deserve, but offers forgiveness and salvation. He is PATIENT, LONGSUFFERING and slow to anger. He is patiently waiting for us to repent and turn towards Him. He is TRUTH. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. The Bible is the Word of truth. He cannot lie, nor does He tolerate falsehood. He is FAITHFUL. He promises to carry out both His promises and His warnings. God WILL DO what He said He would do. God is JUST. He upholds the moral order of the universe and is righteous and without sin in which He treats humankind. He is HOLY and RIGHTEOUS. He is completely separate from creation and all evil and is absolute in purity and holiness. All of these are who He is and a part of His character. His love does not annul His justice. His determination to punish evil proceeds from His holiness. He is angry at sin because of His love for righteousness. Are you confused about God? Are you angry and upset with Him? Find out WHO HE REALLY IS, not who others say He is. READ THE WORD. KNOW THE WORD. LIVE THE WORD! He WILL reveal Himself!